After fleeing the Taliban, Roya is now helping run a restaurant in Sydney’s CBDPosted by On

“When I started here I said I would come part-time, or three days a week. But when I saw the work and services, I’m very eager to come every day, working hard, making proud,” she said. “We are all eager to work full time – we want to work all day.”

The 34-year-old and her family arrived in Australia via Pakistan in December last year, unsure of what they would find on the other side of the world. After a few months in a hotel, they settled in Merrylands in western Sydney, and Rasuly fired off dozens of resumes.

One of them landed with Mahboba’s Promise, an Australian charity helping women and children in Afghanistan. They passed it on to entrepreneur Shaun Christie-David.

Christie-David runs the social enterprise restaurant Colombo Social in Enmore and founded its parent organisation, Plate it Forward, which is a food-based collective that donates meals and runs employment and training programs for people who would not usually have access to them.

He was organising food donations to Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power last year, and hearing about newly arrived Afghan refugees seeking employment, when he was offered a kitchen space in the Wynyard thoroughfare. “Both worlds came together,” he said.


Christie-David started scoping the potential for Kabul Social about six months ago and, after weeks of menu testing and hospitality training, it opened to the public last month following a three-week soft launch period. Already, word has spread across…

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